The Eureka book series, which is aimed at medical students, intends to encompass the pre-clinical and clinical knowledge of the medical and surgical Neuro specialities in one book. It does this by covering Anatomy, Physiology, Clinical Medicine, and Surgery. This is evident in its Neurology and Neurosurgery book, inexpensive and portable (roughly A5 size), which provides succinct yet comprehensive topic chapters relating to both specialities.
The first chapter introduces the reader to fundamental scientific basis of Neurology and Neurosurgery by going through anatomical and physiological aspects, with anatomical regions grouped in different sections. There is even a section dedicated to embryology. As with the rest of the book, this chapter is well-suited to the visual learner, with many diagrams, tables, and clinical images used to illustrate the points made. Overall, this chapter functions as a refresher for the pre-clinical topics. A reader completely new to the subject, seeking greater understanding would probably benefit from a fuller text.
The next chapter is more directly relevant for the clinical years of medical school, as it covers neurological signs and symptoms, history-taking, and examination. There are images to help illustrate examinations that are difficult to visualise. Included at the end is a section on management options, which comprises commonly used medications in Neurology and different neurosurgical procedures, and a section on investigations, including Neuroradiology (including different types of magnetic resonance imaging and how they work) and Neurophysiology.
The book then transitions to chapters discussing a range of common and important neurological and neurosurgical disorders. These fall under topic chapters on headaches, movement disorders, dementia, emergencies and others. Most of the 16 topic chapters start with one or two worked-through clinical cases featuring vivid narratives, neuroimaging, and figures to capture the reader’s interest and enthuse them for the chapter ahead. With 27 cases in total, their aim is to help develop clinical reasoning and decision making. The chapter texts discuss the diseases relevant to the topic, with subdivisions to explain aetiology, clinical features, diagnostic approaches, investigations, and management.
The final chapter contains single best answer questions based on the previous chapters, and this is a great tool for reinforcing knowledge and revision. Throughout the book are text boxes highlighting important concepts which help break up the text and allow the reader to reflect on the new information before moving on.
There were a few typographical errors but, in addition, at least one factual error in the first chapter, p. 16. Here it was claimed that during depolarisation, “when a stimulus … causes K+ efflux to increase, the membrane potential becomes less negative.” K+ efflux should be replaced with Na+ influx. Perhaps this is best considered as a large ‘typo’. I do not think it detracted from the general reliability and authority of the text.
Overall, this book succeeded in its aim to cover the Neurology and Neurosurgery that is relevant for medical students throughout their degree and would therefore be a great resource and revision aid for any medical student.